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EDRi booklets

Copyright: challenges of the digital era

13 February, 2013

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Urheberrecht im digitalen Zeitalter

EDRi has freshly launched a booklet that overviews the challenges that copyright is facing in the digital environment.

For the past twelve years, the European Union has discussed how to support, develop and protect creation in the digital environment. Two months ago, the College of Commissioners recognised the necessity that copyright “stays fit for purpose” in the digital economy.

Until now, the focus point has been on the enforcement of pre-existing legislative norms not only within the rule of law but also through private policing via internet service providers. However, despite all these efforts, there is still an ubiquitous lack of respect for copyright.

The booklet looks at the reasons for this profound gap that has emerged between citizens and the law. Following a brief introduction to the logic behind granting monopoly rights, the booklet lists some reasons that lead to difficulties in respecting copyright law, ranging from excessive penalties for breaching the law to legally-protected restrictions on citizens' rights to use digital products they paid for. It then focuses on the impact of rigid and outdated copyright law on legitimate businesses. Finally, it gives a glance at the wide range of excessive enforcement measures that underline the deterioration of copyright leading to unreasonable and wrongful practices.

In short, this booklet presents a simplified overview of the difficulties facing public support for copyright. EDRi hopes that it will have a positive impact on the current debate regarding the necessity of reforming copyright law and adapting the current system to the digital age, allowing the achievement of the digital single market, removing existing barriers and giving citizens a better access to their culture.

Copyright: challenges of the digital era (02.2013)

Commission agrees way forward for modernising copyright in the digital economy (5.12.2012)

Report from the Commission on the application of Directive 2004/48/EC (22.12.2010)

(Contribution by Marie Humeau - EDRi)



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